It seems that Naomi’s entire life crumbles in those years. Sign up to receive our email newsletter and never miss an update. The story of Ruth provides for David the same pattern that produced the patriarchal line and the line of Judah—namely, the perpetuation of the family through the deeds of women—and it thereby joins the covenant with David to the covenant with Abraham. Ruth had no idea that millions of people would read her story. As a Christian we see in Ruth the coming of the church, the gentiles as part of the people of God. What powerful message im so bless I’ve learn alot from this book, how God uses ordinary people to display his amazing power,, our redeemer lives forever!! And yet it was that sharing and intimacy that was the foundation of the deep relationship these two women shared. Photo: Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munchen. Photo: © Demart Pro Arte®/Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. Abraham’s family is first called a people in Exodus: A “new king arose over Egypt,” and he said: “‘Look, the Israelite people (am bnei yisrael) are much too numerous for us’” (Exodus 1:8, 9). – –1 – –The sorrows brought on the family of Elimelech because of the famine. Ruth took all the barley home and shared what she had with Naomi. Instead, he helped Naomi and Ruth negotiate some rituals of inheritance, after which he married Ruth. Even Boaz makes mention of her character: …It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore…Blessed be thou of the Lord, my daughter; for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich. The story is told in the Book of Ruth, part of the biblical canon called Ketuvim, or Writings. I see this so called Church down on its luck do to its worship of a failed messiah who had nothing left to lose but to glaum on to the one nation that still had the grace of God on it. Just look at the five women mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary. Version. The book of Ruth is a beautiful piece of sacred literature, applauded by many for its literary excellence. It's an intimate family tale of misfortune, crafty use of kinship ties, and ultimately, loyalty. I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty.” (Ruth 1:20,21a KJV). Orpah agrees, but Ruth refuses with the resounding words: Together they journey to Naomi’s former home in Bethlehem. But wherever it appears in your Bible, you will want to find it and study it again after you read “Ruth—Big Theme, Little Book,” originally published in the August 1996 issue of Bible Review. Praised The Lord! Naomi was open with Ruth about the joy, the fear, the pain, and the anguish that came with her faith in God. In the original version of the Hebrew Bible, the Torah, Ruth's story is part of "the writings" (Ketuvim in Hebrew), along with Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah. Hebrews 11:1 reminds us that “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” And looking at the book of Ruth, we can see that even when we can’t see beyond our pain to his plan, we can have hope that our story isn’t over – better days are coming. Their sons marry Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth. David was Israel's greatest hero, a messiah (God-sent leader) in his own right. * Being a good friend takes a long time to learn. In fact, when she returns to Bethlehem, she tells everyone: …Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. Combine a one-year tablet and print subscription to BAR with membership in the BAS Library to start your journey into the ancient past today! We don’t usually share our unedited feelings and thoughts about God with friends or family members. A faithful family is driven by famine from Judah to the non-Jewish land of Moab. When Boaz visits the field and hears of Ruth’s loyalty to his kin Naomi, he instructs his workers to allow her to glean unmolested and even to leave additional grain in her path. This principle lies behind many of the Bible’s laws and narratives—from the division of property between Lot and Abraham, when Lot chooses the plain of the Jordan River and Abraham remains in the land of Canaan (Genesis 13:9–12); to the claims of the daughters of Tzelofchad, who gained the right to inherit the land when their father died without sons (Numbers 27); to the laws of the jubilee years when the land returns to its original owner (Leviticus 25); and to the judgment that falls on King Ahab and Queen Jezebel for having Nabot killed so they could get his vineyard (1 Kings 21). It is therefore entirely appropriate that Orpah accedes to Naomi’s suggestion that she remain in Moab with her parental family. She doesn’t have great riches or great position. Although she doesn’t know it, the field she chooses belongs to a wealthy kinsman of Elimelech named Boaz. It’s hard to have faith. Boaz redeemed Ruth, but years later Jesus would become the “redeemer” for mankind. Copyright © 2005-2019 by Michael Bradley and Chris Bradley, When You Struggle to Balance God’s Need to Judge Sin with His Love, How to Pick a Fight: What the Word of God Says About Choosing Your Battles Wisely, Biblical Solutions to Your Everyday Problems. Required fields are marked *. When God Says No: How to Handle Unanswered Prayers in Your Life, Applying the Parable of the Good Samaritan to Our Lives Today. Far from being peripheral to the main narrative sequence of the Bible, Ruth dramatizes its principal theme: the continuity of this people in their land. They have no legal obligation to one another and can offer each other no mutual protection or support. While there are many things to learn from the story of Ruth, here are seven powerful lessons from this tiny book that stood out to me. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. It does not seem to fit neatly into the sequence of biblical books. The tale begins not in Israel or Judah but in Moab, where the Israelite Naomi and her husband, Elimelech, and her two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, went during a famine in Judah. There are only two books of the Bible named after women: Esther and Ruth. Technically Ruth cannot return to Bethlehem, since the Moabite woman has never been there. Raise your eyes and look out from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west, for I give all the land that you see to you and your offspring forever. In the book of Job, Job declares, “I know that my Redeemer [goel] lives.” While Boaz was a “kinsman redeemer,” when Jesus comes to earth as a man, he becomes our “kinsman redeemer” in the flesh, and Hebrews 2:11 it says that he is “not ashamed to call them brethren.”. Ruth’s poetic words, “Wherever you go, I will go, wherever you lodge, I will lodge,” are rightly famous, both for their beauty of expression and for their sentiment. Everything that she did showed her character, and because of that character, she was honored by God. Their relationship offers a beautiful model of a good relationship – a stunning look at a blending of lives. Elimelech’s family recovers its land through this marriage and, when Ruth and Boaz have a son, Obed, the family also gains a future. – – 2 – – the return of Naomi to the land of Israel, Naomi's daughter-in-law. By submitting above, you agree to our privacy policy. Ruth reminds us that no matter what lies in our past, and no matter how difficult our circumstances may be, a little bit of faith makes a huge difference. She was free to go back to her gods and free to search for a new husband to take care of her. Jesus' lineage from David's family in both blood through his mother Mary and legal kinship through his foster father Joseph lent credence to his followers' claims that he was the Messiah who would liberate the Jews. Naomi stands on the road to Judah as her two Moabite daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah, beg to accompany her to her native land in this watercolor by Salvador Dali. After all, it’s a classic tale of boy meets girl, of unexpected love discovered in the most routine of settings. Both of these women showed faith and clung to the belief that better days were ahead. Mary was a young virgin who was already engaged to Joseph when she became pregnant with Jesus, and she showed great courage in her willingness to bear the scorn and shame that came with a pregnancy that occurred before marriage. Isaac’s wife Rebekah also guides the line of descent away from Esau and toward Jacob, as God had wanted. She left behind her family to go with Naomi back to Bethlehem. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy. After much dispute, Orpah acceded to her mother-in-law's wishes and left her, weeping. Used by permission. But once there they have to provide for themselves. She declared that she was going with Naomi to Bethlehem, left her country and her family behind, and refused to let her past hold her back. I’m going through some struggles now but this have given me hope, putting faith and trust in God is key. The matter is soon settled. The story of Naomi and Ruth are woven together closely that their stories are nearly inseparable. For Christians, the Book of Ruth is an early echo of the divinity of Jesus. She made a choice to stay with Naomi and help her, all the while knowing that she was going to a country that wouldn’t like her very much. Many dedicated Christian women are in difficult marriages or dealing with other hard things but God is faithful to give us the strength to face them all. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. The fact that she had to tell Naomi that Naomis God would be her God only shows that the Church sees its failure in believing in the executed messiah and finally agrees to accept the true God on his terms, with no intercession. The narrative from Exodus to Deuteronomy relates the return of this people from Egypt to the land they have been promised. Through Ruth’s story, we learn that God uses the most unlikely people for his purpose. Hearing that the famine had ended in Judah, Naomi decided to return to her home, and she urged her daughters-in-law to return to their own mothers in Moab. She chose to serve the God of Naomi, and she believed there was still life left for her to live. It was an enemy nation, and Israelites tended to look down on the Moabites. Ruth refuses with a passionate speech to Naomi: Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God; Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.” (Ruth 1: 16,17 KJV).